Thursday, January 03, 2008

happy new craigie-burnin'

after minimal festivities seeing out the end of 2007 (party at Pete's which we took the kids to and left about 10), new year's day 2008 - nelson picked me up in the van (Nissubishi or Mitsubissan) and we headed for the mountains. (last times march07 and may06).

parked up at the Broken River Day shelter carpark (800m) (observing all the hung over travellers waking up and getting into the beers again!), and headed out onto the road for Craigieburn access road at 9.47am. slogged up the access road, gear troubles for me limiting me to big or second cog down on the back, middle or granny up front for the climbing. not to worry, that road pretty much just needs to be tackled in granny most of the way anyway, so's to conserve your energy for later in the ride. made the skifield (1300m), looked about a bit then headed down 'the edge' or 'the wall' depending on which skool (old or nu) you come from. beautiful and dangerous. nearly all down hill, flowing beech forest singletrack sections interspersed with evil drop corners and awe inspiring screeslope crossings... here's me hangin' it out on one... its steeper than it looks, obviously, or i wouldnt be dabbed out.

didnt take long to get down to the right hander(1040m) up to Lyndon Saddle. grunted up there (1140m) and had a feed. then headed down the Luge. flow flow flow, yumpy yump, hello to a total of 4 walkers, all had been warned of our approach by the whooping and the clattering of chains on stays. onto road (860m).

then headed up the road to top (950m) of Dracophyllum Flat track. flat tack down that seemingly endless descent, ending finally at the river(790m). then tackled the climb out up to the actual 'Flat(850m). cruise down across the Flat then through (830m) bush and the weird clearings with nothing much growing in them(850m-810m)), then bush climb to the cheeseman icerinks(940m). we were still feeling pretty good so we headed up the Cheeseman Access road and did the (1000m) lowest bit of the 'taboggan' track, then headed back for broken river. now, this trail is much better in this direction. loads of beautiful down hill sections, easy climb back up dracophyll-flat, then fun steep techy descent to river, and then the climb. i got cramp in the back of my thigh on the first climb, making me walk for a bit, then rode some, walked some rode some back up to the road.

headed along the road (970m) cos Steve etc had said there was a neat little nature trail starting from the Environmental Education Centre carpark. missed that and got onto the "Hut Creek Track" instead, cos it was heading down. well. it didnt head down for long (940m), and pretty soon we were climbing again, heat of the early afternoon sun sapping our already blown strength. climbing climbing til (1000m) eventually we were looking back and down at where we'd started with a road connecting us to there. so. what the heck, turned round and bombed back down this track. all through spruce and fir and pine, one or two beech bits. it was in here i missed seeing a fallen tree (due to folliage) across the track and took a helluva whallop to my head. >smack!!!<, nearly knocking me off, and jarring my brain somewhat... dazed, continued down and when we got to what would have been the climb back to the Environmental Education Centre, (940m) there's this hardly-used track heading down, so, took it instead. it flowed through gums and weird sloped meadows to some huts and then out to the road (860m). nice... in future we'll just ride up the road to the top of this trail... for one final downhill... then the last descent back to the van cooling us off nicely. altitude grand total of 1280m climbed and descended, back to town by 4pm... not bad for a day's play.

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